Gastric exercise tonometry is a functional diagnostic test in chronic gastrointestinal ischemia. As maximal exercise can cause false-positive tests, exercise buildup should be controlled to remain submaximal. We evaluated three parameters for monitoring and adjusting exercise levels (heart rate [HR], respiratory quotient [RQ], and serial lactate measurements) in 178 tests in both healthy volunteers and patients suspected of gastrointestinal ischemia. Exercise levels above submaximal occurred in 20% of HR-, 2% of RQ-, and 5% of lactate-monitored tests (P<0.05 for HR vs. RQ and lactate). Low levels were seen in 5% of HR-, 10% of RQ-, and 41% of lactate-monitored tests (P<0.01 for lactate vs. HR and RQ). High levels resulted in 43% false-positive tonometry results compared to 19% of all tests (P<0.001); low levels did not result in more false negatives (5% vs. 6%). Although RQ monitoring yielded the greatest proportion of optimal exercise tests, serial lactate monitoring is our method of choice, combining optimal diagnostic accuracy, low cost, and simplicity.
- Chronic gastrointestinal ischemia
- Exercise level
- Exercise test
- Gastric exercise tonometry